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Patterns of Productivity Growth and the Wage Cycle in Turkish Manufacturing

Voyvoda, Ebru
In this paper we investigate the distributional consequences of the post-1980 accumulation patterns and technological change in the Turkish manufacturing industries. We utilise two quantitative techniques. First, we make use of the Hodrick±Prescott filter to disintegrate the cyclical variations in productivity growth and wage rates from their respective historical trends, and study the evolution of the wage cycle against the long term productivity patterns in the sector. Next, we decompose the fundamental characteristics of the contributions of productivity growth of the manufacturing sub-sectors to the overall total. Our results suggest very little structural change in the sectoral composition and nature of productivity advances under the post-1980 structural adjustment reforms and outward- orientation, and underscore that the gains in productivity in this period did not materialise as gains in remunerations of wage labour. Contrary to the prognostications of the orthodox theory, the post-1980 export orientation of Turkish manufacturing was not found to lend itself to productivity contributions, and could not be sustained as a viable strategy of `export-led industrialisation’.